Real Madrid might be just one win away from overtaking Fc Barcelona, their eternal rivals, at the top of La Liga, but that has not stopped the negativity that seems to have adhered to the club’s every move. The finger of blame is usually pointed at an over critical and demanding media, but the fans are hardly doing
cartwheels over the current plight of their team. And now, it would seem, the view that Capello’s tactics have sent even the most passionate madridistas into a slumber is one that is shared by the players themselves.
“This Madrid doesn’t entertain” ran the headline for an interview with Roberto Carlos in El Pais yesterday. It’s a good thing that the player shares a healthy relationship with the paper’s editor. If he didn’t his quotes might have been taken out of context and used to stir up trouble for the 34 year old Carlos and his club.
Oh. Wait a minute. They did.
The Brazilian full back, in response to the question “does this team entertain?” replied “Italy have just won the world cup playing a style of football that was decisive in a match at the precise moment when they had to be. It wasn’t much of a spectacle. If you look at it like that you could say that Madrid play normal football, not to entertain the public”
To be fair, El Pais probably weren’t taking the full back’s words out of context; they just had no idea what he was going on about.
The bewildered interviewer did have another crack at it though. This time Carlos was less elusive and a little more expansive.
“What team does excite the public?” replied the Brazilian; “every country has a different style of football. Many talk about Barcelona and their ‘jogo bonito’ – but that’s really just three players who are pleasing the crowd: Ronaldinho, Eto’o and Messi. In England its Cristiano Ronaldo and in Italy Ronaldo. Those are players, not teams”
So that settles in then. Every team is boring, not just Real Madrid; unless of course they happen to have a player who can do a couple of stepovers, in which case these individuals bring a little ray of sunshine into the landscape of tedium we call football.
Where does that leave Real Madrid? After all, Roberto Carlos forgot to mention anyone who plays for the same team as him.
“Real Madrid are the best team defensively speaking”
Best not to mention the attack then. After all, it’s been twenty years since Real Madrid scored fewer goals in a season. However, according to Roberto Carlos, that’s not Capello’s fault. The Italian coach promised to line up with three forwards and here they are, says Carlos “Reyes, Van Nistelrooy, Higuain, Guti and Raul…that’s five!”
Why so few goals then?
“I’m not going to criticise Real Madrid, it’s all down to our opponents who defend and pressurise a lot”
That explains it. Presumably these aren’t the same opponents who obligingly let the opposition score for fun at the Camp Nou or the Mestalla. When Calderon brags that Real Madrid are in a league of their own, now we know what he means.